If you've been around here long enough you know that this "Monday Mornings Inspiration" doesn't necessarily mean it will actually appear on Monday because it rarely does.  Like all you other Moms out there...its the end of the school year round up and for us the start of swim team (2 practices a day 3 x week plus 2 more on the other days...so, lotta lotta poolside sitting for me).  I have been working, crafting, cursing my sewing mishaps new sewing patterns.  For some reason, these have been a little tricky for me - lots of details for beginners and advanced sewers.  I think you'll love them but they have had me cursing under my breath a bit more than normal.  Our photo shoot is tomorrow for all the new patterns for the remainder of 2011 - very anxious to share them with you!  I've also been preparing for a video / commercial I'm shooting for a company and I'll share more about that as I can.

Where were we?  Monday Mornings Inspiration - and this is a fabulous one!

 Krista Hennebury  of Poppyprint is one amazing quilter from British Columbia and like many of my bloggy friends...I kinda forget when we met.  I think she may have won a giveaway of mine many moons ago and I've been stalking her  enjoying her blog ever since.  She was recently named to the list of Top Quilting Blogs for 2011.  Such a talent and always a breath of fresh air and joy to visit her blog.  It's my pleasure to introduce you to her so you too can stalk enjoy her blog.

When did you learn to sew?  And what inspired you to begin? 
I learned to sew on a machine in 6th grade home economics class, when I was 12.  I had already learned to knit and embroider at Girl Guides.  I wasn't an avid sewist, but I did make a few sundresses in high school on my Mom's Singer.  After my children were born, I made a few Hallowe'en costumes, curtains and hemmed a pair of jeans here and there.  I loved collecting fabric, though I wasn't sure why until my early 30's when I signed up for a quilting class at my LQS.  I was immediately hooked on patchwork and took class after class to build my skills.

What are some of your favorite projects to stitch together?

Quilting is my foundation but I really love making purses, bags, and zaka-inspired small projects like wallets and pillows. I enjoy making special gifts for people that I know will appreciate them, as well as making items for fundraising events like silent auctions or raffles at my children's school and community events.
Do you create any of your own patterns?  What is your process like for creating your own pattern and what advice would you offer someone else who is new at drafting their own pattern, for quilting or otherwise?  How should they get started?  
I have designed several original quilting projects, mostly for online swaps (which are a great venue for trying new things and stretching your creative skills!). In those cases, I looked to my partners for an inspirational idea, be it a favorite style, colour or design motif.  Photography is also a hobby for me and often I'll use one of my photos as a jumping off point.  Sometimes, I'll make a rough sketch of my idea (for an art quilt), or for a traditional patchwork I will draw it out on graph paper.  I think doodling and colouring is a great way to start trying out ideas.  Although my background is in science, I am not that formulaic when I work. I tend to thrive on trial and error instead of detailed planning!  If I know that I'll want to make something again, or share the pattern in a tutorial, I will take notes and photographs while making the project.  Then I always make the entire project a second time, refining my instructions as I go along.  I like brief, to the point, clear instructions with illustrations or photos for clarity (see? science girl).

Is quilting business or pleasure for you? 
Lucky for me, it is 100% pleasure with a little bit of business thrown in.  I started a retreat business 5 years ago hosting 13-hour day retreats in a public hall not far from where I live.  I cater all the food, set up the hall with my husband's help, provide ironing stations, basting tables, goody bags, door prizes and support if anyone needs help with a project. The retreats have become so popular, the 25 spots available sell out in less than 24 hours!  I really cherish the community that has been built around the retreats and am thankful for the small income they provide.  I did save up for two years to upgrade my sewing machine, but let's be honest; most of my income goes straight back into fabric!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Our family is planning an extended holiday (maybe even a house exchange?) in France for summer 2012 to support our children's French learning, and to refresh our French, too!  I've been lucky enough to travel extensively, for work and pleasure before having children 14 years ago, so even though that wanderlust is still there, I don't have the same 
desire for adventure that I used to...it's more about spending quality time with my husband and our two teenagers now. I'm worried they won't want to travel with us much longer!

What's next on your sewing table? 
Hmmm, let me analyze the pile (which is always pretty high). Quilt and bind a relief quilt for Japan on behalf of my friend who doesn't have a walking foot, finish the baby gift for my new nephew, make a purse for an upcoming silent auction, continue work on a new quilt for our bed, make myself a new bag with gorgeous home dec fabric that just arrived yesterday!
Was I right or was I right?  Isn't she fabulous?  I know, I know...another blog to add to your reader.  You won't be sorry!  And you're welcome.  Go visit Krista on her blog and tell her I sent you!
I'll try to post again soon...but no promises.  Best to catch me on facebook or twitter (trishpreston) here in the next week or so if you wanna keep up with the commercial shoot, etc.!
What are you guys sewing up lately?   Leave a comment and a link to your blog and share what you've been sewing up this summer!